Nottingham

Youth detained for kick attack death in Mansfield

A Nottinghamshire teenager who took part in a fatal attack on a drunken man has been detained for three-and-a-half years.

The 16-year-old had been drinking in Mansfield pubs before he and two friends attacked James Sheppard, 54, as he lay on a bench in July last year.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the youth, who cannot be named, kicked his victim repeatedly in the head.

He admitted manslaughter at a previous hearing.

'Drunken yobbery'

Mr Sheppard was lying on a bench opposite Mansfield Community Hospital on the night of 3 July when the teenager and his two accomplices, both 16-year-old boys, started punching him about the head.

The youth, described as a talented rugby player from a "good family", then climbed on top of the bench and kicked the Mansfield Town steward at least 10 times, the court was told.

He also poured a pint of lager over Mr Sheppard to try to wake him up before throwing the glass at his head. Mr Sheppard later died from a brain haemorrhage.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Stokes QC said the boys' victim "was doing nothing at all that could have caused you and your friends to react as you did."

He added: "This was drunken yobbery. It was a group attack on a victim who was particularly vulnerable and you used your foot to repeatedly kick this helpless individual."

One of the youth's teachers who had seen him drinking in pubs that night was later suspended for six weeks, the court heard.

The two other boys both admitted actual bodily harm and were given one-year supervision orders at an earlier hearing.

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